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A PDD Disorder (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) or Autism Spectrum Disorder is part of a group of developmental disabilities which, according to recent research, affect as many as 1 in 250 people. Falling under the umbrella of PPD Disorders are: Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
These disorders occur in all cultures around the world (although diagnoses differ in frequency and type), in all economic classes and affect up to 5 times as many boys as girls. Usually, these disorders are recognized between the ages of 1 and 3 years, and affect the development of social behavior, verbal and non-verbal communication and attention/interests.
PPDs do not describe a delay in development, but instead, a significant deviation from what is considered normal development. The spectrum of this deviation ranges from mild to severe. About 40 percent of children with PDD Disorder do not talk at all.
Others have echolalia, which means they just repeat back something that was said to them instead of responding in their own words to questions or statements.
People with PDD might not understand gestures such as waving goodbye. They might say “I” when they mean “you” or vice versa. These are just a few of the symptoms related to speech, language and communication.
There is still quite a bit that’s left to be understood when it comes to the Pervasive Developmental Disorders. We know that PDD is not caused by errors in parenting, specific toxins or poor prenatal care and it is believed that in some cases, genetics play the main role.
What is the difference between Autsim and PPD-NOS?
There is a bit of confusion and controversy on the subject and the labels of autistm, PPD or PPD NOS. If someone is diagnosed with PPD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified), it means that he/she shows some of the symptoms of Autism but not enough to qualify for a diagnosis of Autism. A very important fact to keep in mind is that whether a child is diagnosed with a PDD (like autism) or a PDD-NOS, his/her treatment will be similar.
However, the actual diagnosis does become and issue when it comes to insurance coverage. While a diagnosis of autism will be covered in most cases, if the diagnosis is PDD-NOS, the insurance company is not as likely to cover costs for this. So the fine line between a mild case of Autism and a severe case of PPD-NOS can make things difficult in this respect.
Options for PDD treatment depend on the type of disorder the individual is diagnosed with and his/her specific needs. Treatment can include one or more of the following: therapy, specialized education, social support, and medications. The aim of PDD treatment is to provide assistance with the more difficult symptoms and improve language and social skills. Most professionals agree that early treatment can improve the outcome of individuals with the PDD Disorder.